IWA Publishing

Using business models in designing market-based solutions: the case of fluoride treatment systems

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This paper addresses how business models inform viability of different fluoride treatment technologies for developing countries as well as the pursuit of financial and operational sustainability. Excess fluoride concentrations in drinking water supplies negatively impact the health of communities living in fluoride affected regions of the world by causing dental and skeletal fluorosis and other severe socio-economic problems. Given that fluoride mitigation solutions have proven elusive, we apply business model logic to compare fluoride removal technologies to examine the financial sustainability of water service provisions. We analyze the investment cost of producing fluoride safe water, the annual revenues generated, and the net benefits obtained from different technologies. Furthermore, the reduced medical costs and productivity losses averted due to access to fluoride safe water can lead to an average annual cost saving of $67 per person. Our results validate the use of business models to help evaluate different technologies as a means of pursuing sustainable applications for safe drinking water.

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